Displaying items by tag: feed
Although aquafeed manufacturers still can’t do completely without fishmeal and fish oil they are in the meantime much less dependent on marine ingredients and are increasingly using alternative raw materials to meet the protein and nutrient requirements of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Modern processing methods today enable the use of numerous new resources.
This article featured in EUROFISH Magazine 2 2020.
According to the FAO an additional 27 million tonnes of seafood will have to be produced by 2030 in order to maintain the current supply level. This will be impossible without expanding aquaculture production, however, and will lead to an increased demand for aquafeed. That, in turn, poses enormous problems for the feed industry because the supply of fishmeal and fish oil cannot be increased at will without jeopardising the sustainability of industrial fishing. Traditionally, fishmeal has been the preferred source of protein for aquafeed due to its high protein content, well-balanced amino acid profile, and good digestibility. Global fishmeal production has been stagnating for more than 30 years, however, and might now even be on a decline. On average, the fishmeal industry uses about 20 million tonnes of raw materials a year for the production of approximately 5 million tonnes of fishmeal and 1 million tonnes of fish oil. Three quarters of this is processed to feed for aquaculture. Because the available quantities are not sufficient to meet demand the feed industry has to resort to alternative raw materials.
An improved range of starter feeds for trout has been created following extensive research that provide key nutrients while improving water quality. Alltech Coppens TOP fry feed has an optimised ratio between digestible protein and digestible energy. This results in better performance with higher protein utilisation and lower ammonia excretion, leading to improved feed efficiency and better water quality. Dr Philip Lyons, Global Aquaculture Research Manager at Alltech Coppens says the feed not only improves performance during a critical phase but does so sustainably.
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Danish-owned BioMar is globally one of the most significant feed producers for the aquaculture industry with 14 feed plants and another two under construction. The factories are located across the globe in the major farmed fish producing nations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and soon also in Australia. The company estimates that roughly 20% of the fish farmed in Europe and South and Central America is raised on its feeds. BioMar recently completed the acquisition of the Chilean feed factory, Alitec Pargua, which had been a joint venture with the salmon producer, AquaChile, with each partner having a 50% interest. BIoMar and AquaChile entered into an acquisition agreement regarding the Alitec Pargua plant following the Chilean company’s acquisition by a local agro-processor last year. The plant represents 10 years of successful collaboration between the two companies, and after the transaction the commercial relationship between BioMar and AquaChile will continue. BioMar announced that the acquisition will increase its flexible production capacity and allow it to meet demand for its high-performance feeds, functional products and services, which it supplies to 80 countries around the world and for 45 species of fish.
The overcapacity in Europe’s salmon feed market is causing at least one major feed producer to close its production operations in the UK. Norway-based Skretting, a Nutreco subsidiary, operates production facilities in 19 countries worldwide, including one each in Scotland and England. However, a rival, Marine Harvest Scotland, is opening a plant in the spring of 2019, which Skretting estimates will raise UK capacity by more than 50% over market demand, leading to unsustainably low prices.
Skretting said it isn’t planning on stopping production in other EU markets; indeed, the company continues to grow, based on a strategy of matching local aquafeed markets with local production is closely as possible. The principal market, the global farmed salmon sector, is as highly competitive as the feed sector, and experiences production shifts of its own, which feed suppliers must adapt to. “Aquaculture is an increasingly important and attractive solution to meet growing demand for healthy food,” the company’s announcement said, but to ensure sustained profitability “tough decisions” must be made, referring to the impacts on around 100 employees as well as customers and suppliers.